Brakes are a fairly important component of your vehicle. As such, they should always be installed by a professional mechanic. Incorrect installation compromises performance and, of course, safety. That's why, when you buy brake pads from Tire Rack, we take the time to recommend an installer.
So, how do you know when brakes need to be replaced?
Disc brake pads and rotors wear with use, so you should keep a close eye on them. Brake pads should be replaced when there is 1/8" to 3/16" of friction material left on the steel backing plate. Brake rotors should be replaced before they reach the "Worn Rotor Minimum Thickness" limit, which can be found on the edge of the brake disc.
This, though, is different if you're replacing brake pads used for racing. Read all about it in "Brake Pad or Rotor Inspection and Replacement." It's just one of many articles in our Brakes tech library.